Why I like self-checkouts
Lingering in grocery stores is not for me. I don't browse; I know what I want and get it.
That's why I like self-checkout lanes. You do the scanning yourself. And you usually don't have to wait in line.
Three stores in the area offer the self-checkout option – Kroger in Sterling and the Walmarts in Sterling and Dixon.
Years ago, I worked as a grocery bagger. I never imagined that customers would one day check out their own items.
What about the chance of theft? The counters have scales, making it difficult to avoid scanning items. Besides, an employee watches over the self-checkout stations.
Among other places, I go to the Kroger and Walmart in Sterling for my grocery shopping. I have noticed that the younger customers are, the more likely they are to use the self-checkout lanes. Probably because they are more comfortable with new technology.
My cousin, who nearly always grabs on to the latest technology, won't use self-checkout lanes. She objects because they put people out of work.
In the short term, she is right. Over time, however, technology makes society more efficient. And prices fall. This frees up resources for other endeavors. That's why Americans are able to spend much more of their income on vacations, restaurants and other non-necessities than they could 50 years ago.
This same cousin uses ATMs, which almost certainly put a bunch of human tellers out of work. She has come to accept them; after all, they've been around a long time.
One of my more technologically savvy co-workers told me he uses the self-checkout lane if he has a few items. But he said he prefers human cashiers when his cart is fuller. They can scan faster.
In other words, grocery store cashiers won't become a thing of the past.
Sauk Valley Media reporter David Giuliani covers the Whiteside and Lee county governments, Morrison and other smaller communities. He can be reached at dgiuliani@saukvalley or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525.